Stefan Kukula, chief executive of EEMUA, explains how new, expert guidance on plastic tanks fills a much needed gap for users – improving safety and cutting costs
PLASTIC TANKS: A POOR RELATION WITH A RICH FUTURE
While steel tanks used in heavy industrial engineering applications sustain consistently high levels of interest, their non-metallic cousins – plastic tanks – have consistently remained the poor relation. The industry’s approach to plastic tanks has often been less than enthusiastic, and is summed up in the phrase, ‘fit and forget’. Yet plastic tanks are not simply vessels to be consigned to tank farms and left alone. With a vibrant manufacturing sector, which has a strong emphasis on technology transfer and innovation, the technology used in their manufacture has moved forward considerably in the last few decades. Nowadays, plastic tanks can be designed to handle a wide range of chemicals from clean water to highly oxidising chemicals. Despite this, tank lifetimes are often still based only on manufacturers’ nominal recommendations. This risks failing to consider the specific usage conditions, leading both to in-service failure and the unnecessary scrapping of serviceable tanks.